Regular readers will know that my love/hate relationship with Google Chrome has turned into a hate/hate and I’ve decided that it’s time to switch all my Macs away from the resource-hogging browser.
And there’s no better time to switch since there are so many great alternatives out there for the Mac: Firefox, Opera, Brave, Microsoft Edge.
Yes, you read that right. Microsoft Edge.
But not the version for the Mac. The Windows version.
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One of my all-time favorite apps for the Mac is the virtualization software Parallels Desktop. It’s head-and-shoulder above the competition and is the best way to run the Windows operating system and Windows applications on a Mac.
In fact, it turns a Mac into one of the best PCs for Windows that you can buy. You double-click the icon and you’re inside Windows in seconds.
For a few years now, Parallels Desktop has had this feature called Coherence Mode. Coherence Mode allows Windows applications to break free of the Windows “window” on the Mac and allows them to run alongside other Mac applications.
I can put links in the Mac dock or Launchpad, and run the apps from there and not have to see of deal with Windows at all.
And yet, the apps are inside a virtual machine, safely cocooned from the host Mac.
Here’s the Windows version of Edge running as an application on my Mac.
No Windows 11 in sight!
It all started a few weeks back when I accidentally clicked on Edge in my Mac’s dock (I’d added it when I was testing Parallels Desktop). It fired up, I thought, “oh, I wonder how bad this can be?” assumed it would be quite awful, and then realized that I’d been using the browser all day without any issues.
Turns out it wasn’t bad at all.
You’d think that running virtualization software with a preview operating system (I’m using Windows 11) and then throwing a browser on top of that would kludgy and cumbersome.
But it’s not.
In fact, it felt like Parallels Desktop was doing such an excellent job of managing memory, it felt like I could pile a lot of tabs into the browser, and my Mac wouldn’t miss a beat.
A few weeks on and I’m still using Edge.
I’m not sure at this point whether it’s Edge I like, or running a browser inside Parallels Desktop, but I’m surprised that I’m still clicking on that icon.
I tried Edge for the Mac a while back and I wasn’t all that impressed. It felt a bit like running Google Chrome.
A bit kludgy and underwhelming.
This is a completely different experience.
One trick that I’ve started doing is moving my “I want to keep that tab for later” tabs into a separate instance of Edge, and then minimizing it.
And I’m now curious — what does Google Chrome feel like running on Windows inside Parallels Desktop.
If you have Parallels Desktop installed on your Mac, give it a try, and let me know what you think.